Finance · 27 June 2017

Alexa Chung secures venture capital from Five Guys and Chilango investors

Alexa Chung has previously designed for AG Jeans and Marks & Spencer
Alexa Chung has designed for AG Jeans and Marks & Spencer

Pembroke VCT, a venture capital firm and investor in early stage, consumer-oriented UK businesses in health and fitness, fashion and the media, has announced its investment in the new self-titled fashion brand from Alexa Chung.

The ALEXACHUNG brand is the first solo design effort from model and journalist Alexa Chung, who previously designed collections for brands AG Jeans and Maxwell, and acted as a creative consultant with labels Marks & Spencer, Eyeko and Superga.

Alexa Chung has appointed as her brand’s managing director Edwin Bodson, previously head of fashion label Atelier Haider Ackermann, alongside a multi-disciplinary team of design professionals.

Outlining the benefits of the of the deal with Pembroke VCT, Bodson said: “To be supported with investment from the team at Pembroke, who really understand retail and the fashion business, is a huge benefit to enable us to grow as a global brand.”

Alexa Chung’s new brand will be the twenty-sixth business Pembroke VCT has invested in since its launch, and all have, according to the firm, been a mixture of later stage profitable businesses and earlier stage post-revenue, pre-profit businesses.

Launched in 2013 as part of the Oakley Capital group, Pembroke VCT’s previous investments include popular burger restaurant chain Five Guys and burrito bar franchise Chillango.

Amongst the venture capital firm’s other past investments are Blaze, the innovative bike light startup with a flagship product – the Laserlight – currently fitted to Santander bikes across London, and Rated People, the UK website which connects consumers to trusted tradespeople.

Having raised over £13m so far in 2017 to invest in UK startups, Pembroke VCT has said it will next open its offer for further subscription in August. The firm is run by serial entrepreneurs, with the stated aim of adding value to startups through the experiences and resources of its team members, as well as simply providing capital.

Commenting on the Alexa Chung brand investment, Pembroke VCT managing director Andrew Wolfson said the designer demonstrated all the traits the firm looks for in a startup founder.

“Before investing in any young business, we look for several key traits such as passion, commitment and drive, all of which Alexa Chung embodies,” said Wolfson. “We’re immensely proud to be working with Alexa on the launch of what will undoubtedly be a hugely successful venture.”

 

Wolfson went on to say: “Many of the smaller companies we have invested in at an early stage might well be names that you know today. The UK is a nation of small businesses, and there is a large pool of them that have promise and proven capability that just need access to capital.

“This is what venture capital can and should provide, by offering investors the tax incentive to invest in that growth. The added benefit to investors is that they are funding the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit and helping to create jobs.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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